NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Four people were hospitalized after a shooting in Gentilly Thursday afternoon, according to the New Orleans Police Department.
The shooting happened in the 4200 block of Chef Menteur Highway just after 12:30 p.m. Officers responded to the scene in the Dollar Tree parking lot.
According to the NOPD, two male juveniles, who police say were the intended targets, were sitting outside of the store when an unidentified man got out of a Kia Optima firing shots at the juveniles.
The alleged suspect reportedly chased the juveniles into the store but then returned to the vehicle and drove off. Both targets were hit by gunfire while two other shoppers were wounded in the incident.
No further details are available but the NOPD is in the process of gathering evidence and information to determine a possible suspect and motive.
The shooting comes after multiple shootings overnight, including one at a Walgreens at the intersection of Elysian Fields Ave. Gentilly Blvd. where two people, a 17-year-old and 21-year-old, were killed.
“It reminds you of the tragedy of crime in our city, but it also reminds you that there are some things that are intolerable, something that cannot ever be accepted, and that’s resorting to violent crime that so many do in our city,” New Orleans City Councilman Eugene Green said.
Family members of the 17-year-old identify her as Kalaila Miller. Her great uncle, Ed Perkins, a retired NOPD cop, believes she was caught in the crossfire in a targeted attack.
Ed Perkins, family member of shooting victim
“Nine times out of ten, this is a revenge killing on some kind of drug deal that went bad, or who knows? But for you to kill somebody, you know, this is not small change,” Perkins said.
The Walgreens remained closed Thursday to some customers’ dismay.
“I’m surprised, I really am because it’s always been nice and friendly around here, and to hear a shooting, two killed,” customer Clara Rita Barthelemy sighed.
Perkins says although his job as a police officer is done, it is difficult to escape the crime in the city and thinks something has to give.
“You think after 30 years, when you’re done, you’re done, but you’re never done,” Perkins said. “As long as you have family members and friends and people you know out here, and the way the crime is in this city, nobody’s immune to it.”